Environmental and technical evaluation of additive manufacturing: Enabling process chain perspective by energy value stream mapping

Mathias Wiese*, Christopher Rogall, Nadja Henningsen, Christoph Herrmann, Sebastian Thiede

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleAcademicpeer-review

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Additive manufacturing (AM) currently evolves from a prototyping process to an alternative manufacturing process for end-use parts, advancing into fabrication of low to medium product volumes. Moreover, increasing awareness of environmental impacts of manufacturing lead to the necessity of holistic evaluation among traditional evaluation criteria in the technical and economic domains. However, existing evaluation approaches seldom consider a complete AM process chain and are lacking a production-oriented notation which enables comparability across technologies and support in identification of improvement potentials on technical and environmental level. To address this gap, this paper highlights the way from structured data acquisition to setup of an energy value stream map (EVSM) for AM process chains in end-use part production, augmenting methods of lean manufacturing by the energy dimension. Consequently, it contributes to a holistic and transparent process chain perspective to assess AM as a manufacturing alternative. The proposed methodology is applied to a case study covering two different process chains, a first based on powder bed fusion via Multi-jet Fusion (MJF) and a second utilizing vat-photopolymerization via Continuous Liquid Interphase Printing (CLIP). While the MJF process chain's energetical hot spot is situated in the printing process itself, the hot spot for CLIP is found in thermal post-processing, exceeding the comparably efficient printing process by magnitudes and ultimately resulting in higher energy intensity per part compared to the MJF process chain. These results highlight the necessity of a holistic evaluation method for complete AM-based process chains and their influence on the product properties. Insights may help engineers, designers and decision makers in pre-selection of suitable manufacturing strategies with a more complete view on AM process chains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-445
Number of pages6
JournalProcedia CIRP
Early online date8 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event29th CIRP Conference on Life Cycle Engineering, LCE 2022 - KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
Duration: 4 Apr 20226 Apr 2022
Conference number: 29


  • Additive manufacturing
  • decision support
  • process chains
  • rapid manufacturing
  • sustainable manufacturing
  • value stream mapping


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